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Sense and reference

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Sense and reference

  1. 1. Reference and meaning Two ways of talking about the meaning of words and other expressions: Sense Reference We deal with relationships between language and world. We deal with relationships inside the language. The world X1 x2 language The world y X language Both reference and sense are different but related aspects of semantics •
  2. 2. Reference - By means of reference a speaker indicates which thing or people are being talked about . - Reference is something haring physical existence. Example: My son is in the beech tree. Referent: person referent: things Note: Referent of a part of language: things or people exist in the world even something or someone that not exist but we believe they are available.
  3. 3. So we have 2 things: *the English expression (part of language) *thing person (part of the world)
  4. 4. Can a part of language (word expression) have more than one referent?? Some other expressions never refer to different references Example : “ The moon" Have a constant reference Some expressions in a language can have variable references Example : Orange Fruit color
  5. 5. Note : There is very little constancy of reference in language , almost all of the fixing of references comes from the context and according to the circumstances "time , place ..etc " in which expressions are used . Example : the president of USA in 1997 was George w Bush in 2006 was Bill Clinton in 2009 was Obama.
  6. 6. Two different expressions can have the same referent. Example : the morning star & the evening star (planet venus) Mohamed Nagib & the 1st president .
  7. 7. SENSE - The sense of a part of language (wordsexpressions) is its place in a system of semantic relationships with other expression in the language. - Sense is something which doesn't have any physical existence.
  8. 8. - Sense deals with intra-linguistic relationships "semantic relationships" - One of the semantic relationships is "sameness of meaning in words, phrases and sentences " More than one word can have the same sense . - same language I (almostnearly)fell over. - school école sidewalk (A.E)------- pavement (B.E)
  9. 9. Also more than one expressionsentence can have the same sense : Rupert took off his jacket = Rupert took his jacket off. in some cases the same word can have more than one sense : Example : - I have an account at the bank of Scotland . - we steered the raft to the other bank of river. In some cases alike sentences have different sense : Example : - the chicken is ready to eat . - the chicken is ready to be eaten. - the chicken is ready to eat something.
  10. 10. The relationship between sense and reference - the referent of an expression is often a thing or person in the world . - the sense of an expression is not a thing at all it is an abstraction that can be entertained in the mind of a language user. - it's difficult to say what sort of entity the sense of an expression is .. it is useful to think of sense as that is a part of meaning of an expression that is left over when reference is factored out . - it's much easier to say whether or not two expressions have the same sense .
  11. 11. rule : every expression that have meaning have sense , but not every expression has reference almost , probable , if and above don't refer to a thing in the world but they all have a sence
  12. 12. circularity : * there is something essential circular about the set of definitions in a dictionary & defining the sense of words and other expressions . *not a bad thing *often unavoidable >> ( e.g. cases of expressions that have no referent " and " , etc. ) there is no way of indicating the meaning of the expression exept with the words
  13. 13. sence and proposition there is something semantically complete about a proposition as opposed to the sense of a phrase of single word . one might say , roughly , that a proposition corresponds to a complete independent thought . _____________________________________________________ grammatically complete >> whole sentence >> smaller expressions e.g. a phrase or a single word . _____________________________________________________ semantically complete >> a proposition >> sense of a phrase oryy a single word _____________________________________________________
  14. 14. sense and different languages can the same sense to belong to expressions in different languages ?? to the extent that perfect translation between languages is possible ( a very debatable point ) essentially the same sense can be said to belong to expressions in different languages . Ex: the pyramid of Khufu is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza . it's the only one of the seven wonders of the Ancient world to remain largely intact the relationship between : * sense and propositions >> direct >> similarity * sense and utterance >> not so direct >> similarity _______________________________________________________ - both referring and uttering are acts performed by particular speaker on particular occasion . - most utterances contain , or are accompanied by , one or more acts of referring . - an act of referring is the picking out of a particular referent by a speaker on a course of a particular utterance
  15. 15. -- although the concept of reference is fundamentally related to utterances , in the acts of reference only actually happen in the course of utterances . -- when talking about reference in connection with sentences , or parts of sentences , we are imagining a potential utterance of the sentence or expression in question . -- in every day conversation , the words ( meaning _ means _mean _meant _etc ) are sometimes used to indicate reference and som times to indicate sense .

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